Real Estate Headlines 10.08.2013

Fannie Mae (FNMA_) has introduced new, temporary guidelines to servicers and sellers of single-family loans in response to the government shutdown. The housing giant is unaffected by the shutdown as it is still a private company, albeit in conservatorship. However, the government shutdown still threatens to delay the process of obtaining a home loan. Fannie




MLS Market Update: October 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 4, 2013 Region’s housing activity still “speeding along,” but pace slowing as seasons change, uncertainty looms amid government shutdown Kirkland, WA – October 4, 2013. September tested the housing market’s resilience around Western Washington with fluctuating mortgage rates, record-setting rains, and persistent inventory shortages in some areas. By month’s end, however,




Real Estate Headlines 10.01.2013

For more than a generation now, like it or not, Wall Street’s financial engineering has helped determine whether the average American can buy a home. Once upon a time—before Wall Street stuck its nose under the mortgage tent—the formula for homeownership was pretty simple: if the neighborhood banker thought you would pay it back, you




Real Estate Headlines 09.10.2013

There were a few more homes for sale in the Seattle area last month than in July, although the situation remained tight.  Seattle had 1.6 months worth of homes for sale at the current sales pace in August, up from 1.5 months of inventory in July. King County had 1.9 months of inventory, up from




MLS Market Update: September 2013

Demand for Puget Sound area homes “still incredibly strong,” but brokers report frenzy is easing in some neighborhoods Kirkland, WA – September 5, 2013. Northwest Multiple Listing Service figures for August show brisk sales, escalating prices and some improvement in inventory, prompting one MLS director to declare, “What these numbers tell us loud and clear



Real Estate Headlines 08.13.2013

Real estate experts call it a mini power surge of sales as every indicator in the Puget Sound housing industry is showing double-digit gains. After years of recession, Puget Sound housing market booming ~ KOMO4 Obama Urges Access to 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage ~ NAR Obama takes questions on housing in Zillow chat ~ CNN Money




Real Estate Headlines 08.06.2013

The Greater Seattle market in May posted a 3.1 percent monthly gain, its largest since April 1990, according to data released Tuesday. The region’s 12-month increase was 11.9 percent — the biggest  annual gain since December 2006.  Seattle home prices zipping upward, but slowdown likely ~ Seattle Times US new-home sales jump to highest level




Real Estate Headlines 07.23.2013

Where Home Prices Are Rising by the Most  ~  Realtor.com Know the Neighborhood ~ Walk Score Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand announces first 9 affiliates ~ Inman News 3 Real Estate Scams Your Clients Fall For ~ Realtor Mag Bank of America Said to Send Property Reviews to India ~ Bloomberg




Real Estate Headlines 07.16.2013

It’s one of the most contentious of neighborhood issues: What happens if a neighbor blocks your view? A few homeowners in Seattle think they’ve found a solution: Buy the “air rights” of the neighboring property.  Some homeowners in Seattle have bought ‘air rights’ of neighboring properties to protect their views. Prices have ranged from $50,000




Real Estate Headlines 07.09.2013

Low inventory and interest rates are why realtors call Seattle one of the most competitive housing markets in the country. According to the Northwest Listing Service, The median price of homes in Snohomish County is up 14 percent, and up 10 percent in both King and Pierce Counties. Seattle housing market one of the most




Real Estate Headlines 06.18.2013

The Millennial generation is showing different housing preferences than previous generations, and some analysts say that Baby Boomers may be growing concerned that they will have a tough time selling their suburban, larger homes due to the Millennials’ differing tastes. The Millennial generation has been called a key to the housing recovery, and housing experts




Real Estate Headlines 06.11.2013

Mortgage rates will continue to rise. They will probably be near 5 percent by this time next year, compared to the 3.5 percent average of the past 12 months. The rates will be even higher in 2015 and 2016. Certainly, rising rates are bad news for buyers and some potential homebuyers will be pushed out




MLS Market Update: June 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 5, 2013 Competition among home buyers “still fierce;” rising interest rates adding to fury NWMLS, Kirkland, WA, June 5, 2013 – Well-priced homes continue to draw multiple offers and sell at a brisk pace around Western Washington as buyers react to increases in interest rates and asking prices. Northwest Multiple Listing




Real Estate Headlines 06.04.2013

China’s superrich, who have historically been drawn to San Francisco, Los Angeles and Vancouver, B.C., are investing in Seattle-area real estate in growing numbers, buying multimillion-dollar homes, rent-producing properties and land for commercial development. In the process, they are accelerating the real-estate market’s recovery, sometimes edging out other buyers with all-cash offers, and deepening ties




Real Estate Headlines 05.21.2013

Buying beats renting in Seattle if you stay 3.6 years, says Zillow ~ My Northwest Will the Nothwest Multiple Listing Service finally get on board too? NAR Allows Public-Facing MLS Sites; Leaders to Look at realtor.com Content  ~  Realtor Magazine Every potential home buyer has to stop for at least a moment and consider this




Real Estate Headlines 05.14.2013

Did you hear about the loan underwriter who demanded a letter from the borrower’s doctor stating the borrower had been healed and his illness would not come back? How about the underwriter who wanted a verification of employment from the borrower who listed her occupation as “homemaker”? Yes, things are tough out there. And despite




FHA Mortgage Insurance For Life

When is the official start date for the new ‘life-of-the-loan’ MIP requirement you ask? According to the FHA, the date for loans “with FHA case numbers assigned on or after June 3, 2013,” is when “FHA will collect the annual MIP for the maximum duration permitted under statute.” Additional changes are already in place for FHA




Seattle Housing Inventory Report | April 2013

Buyers are feeling the crunch in Seattle’s housing market.  Here is the breakdown for Seattle residential listings in April.  It shows pretty clearly why… April 2010 Active Listings:    2,649 April 2010 Sold Homes:     599 April 2013 Active Listings:     840 April 2013 Sold Homes:     642   Month Active Listings, Number of Sales, Number of Jan 2010 1,951 329 Feb 2010 2,174




Real Estate Headlines 05.07.2013

Low appraisals are making it tougher for some pending sales to close, causing many buyers to include a contingency in their offers: If a house for sale for $500,000 appraises for, say, $475,000, more buyers are willing to pay the $25,000 shortfall out of their pocket to close the deal Chaffee said. While some brokers




MLS Market Update: May 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 6, 2013 Multiple offers are “the new normal” for housing market around Puget Sound NWMLS, Kirkland, WA, May 6, 2013 – Northwest Multiple Listing Service members notched their highest volume of new listings since June 2011, but the additions did little to ease inventory shortages. Brokers also reported the highest volume




Real Estate Headlines 04.30.2013

Photos. People want photos. They also want detailed information about the property—all the information they’ll need to imagine themselves living there, to help them decide if the home is right for them. What Do Home Buyers Value Most When Looking for a Home Online? ~ NAR Buyers Driving Housing Recovery, Not Investors ~ The Street